Campaign Underway to Demolish Christian Churches in China30 April, 2014 at 18:12 | Posted in China, human rights, persecution, Society | Leave a comment
By Carol Wickenkamp
One of the most memorable scenes in Lewis Carroll’s classic “Alice in Wonderland” is the Queen of Hearts shrieking “Off with their heads!” whenever she is displeased.
Xia Baolong, the Communist Party secretary of Zhejiang Province, seems to have taken a leaf from the Queen’s playbook, when he conducted an inspection tour of the province earlier this year. Pointing at a cross on a church in the small town of Baiquan, he is reported to have announced that it was “too conspicuous and splashy.” It was therefore to be “rectified,” he said. The cross was ripped down and a smaller one placed on the wall.
Xia’s peremptory remarks, which continued during the inspection tour, seem to have cascaded into a wave of church demolitions across the province recently, under vague provisions of economic development and urban renewal.
On April 28, the target was the state-approved Sanjiang Church in Wenzhou City. Wrecking crews moved in on that church, ripping down its facade even as congregants attempted to stop them through protests. The Telegraph reported a witness saying: “I saw three or four excavators out front, demolishing the church, and three or four out back, demolishing the annex building. I also saw a small excavator going inside the church doing demolition work inside.”
A photograph, unverified, later appeared online appearing to show that the whole structure had collapsed.
The assault on the Sanjiang Church is just one part of a campaign that crosses Zhejiang Province and beyond.